Laura Lajiness is a writer and editor who covers fashion, accessories, beauty, and fine jewelry for Brides. Her work also appears in ELLE, InStyle, Glamour, Refinery29, POPSUGAR, Well+Good, and Barneys New York.
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Few occasions call for all-out glamour, but the number one on our list is, without a doubt, a New Year's Eve wedding. As a guest, this is your red-carpet moment — an occasion to pull out all the stops. Sure, under normal circumstances, you wouldn't want to steal attention from the couple of honor. But on January 31, it's safe to assume the soon-to-be-wed selected the date for the increased merriment, making a dialed-up dress more than appropriate.
When deciding upon a New Year's Eve wedding guest dress, color, and style are big considerations. Dazzling numbers are indeed encouraged — think metallic hues, sequin-decked designs, and luxe fabrics with sheen. Jewel tones, vibrant colors, playful prints, and muted shades work, too — you'll look party-perfect in a shimmering slate, gleaming indigo, or sparkling sandstone.
Read on for the best New Year's Eve wedding guest dresses to usher in the new year and the newlyweds in style.
Best Allover Sequin: Mac Duggal Sequin Long Sleeve Gown
If you've RSVP'd "yes" to a black-tie New Year's Eve wedding, this scintillating gown is absolute perfection. The V-neckline and drawn-in waist are stunning, yes. But it's the soaring slit that makes this number thoroughly scene-stealing.
This black dress is simple yet striking, with an alluring strapless neckline and a sexy high slit. To give it a New Year's Eve wedding guest spin, add in a glimmering accessory or two — we're thinking a beaded mini bag and drop earrings.
This polka-dot dress is the perfect splash of color for those inherently drawn to black. Complete with puff sleeves and decorated with a trio of bows–we can't think of a more festive look for a New Year's Eve wedding.
You'll make a wedding-guest statement in this strappy mini dress. The pretty green hue might feel innately spring, but with metallic heels and a jewel tone bag, it's entirely festive for New Year's Eve.
Metallic fabrics are spot-on for New Year's Eve, and more distinctive is a dress in an unexpected hue like green lamé. The pin-thin spaghetti straps will beautifully enhance your neckline with a side split on the skirt for added allure.
Most Elegant: Brandon Maxwell Off-The-Shoulder Silk Maxi Dress
Channel classic Hollywood glamour in this off-the-shoulder silk gown by Brandon Maxwell. The décolletage-revealing off-the-shoulder neckline calls for dazzling earrings, while the fitted silhouette beautifully defines the waist.
This fluid satin dress is stunning for a black-tie wedding, featuring an off-one-shoulder silhouette and bias column skirt. The pale green sheen is plenty festive with a pared-back design to suit minimalist tastes.
Most Embellished: Needle & Thread Ruffled Sequined Tulle Midi Dress
No one does sophisticated sparkle quite like Needle & Thread. This shimmering number is perfect for a warm-weather New Year's Eve wedding.
What to Look for in a New Year's Eve Wedding Guest Outfit
A New Year's Eve wedding is the perfect occasion to dress up in something fun and statement-making–especially if the wedding invitation calls for festive attire. If you're looking to make a bold entrance, go for floor-length gowns in all-over shimmering sequins or beaded mini dresses that transition seamlessly from the ceremony to the after-party. More of a minimalist? You can never go wrong with a simple LBD that can easily be dressed up with festive accessories like statement-making earrings or dazzling metallic shoes.
What should I wear to a New Year's Eve wedding?
While it's more than appropriate to wear something simple and classic to a New Year's Eve wedding, if you really want to embrace the theme (while still adhering to the dress code, of course), go bold with a sequin-embellished dress or opt for a gown in shimmering metallic like gold and silver.
What is festive attire?
Festive attire is typically a combination of dressy cocktail attire with hint of holiday flair. This means guests should opt for outfits in bold colors with fun details like sequin or bead embellishments.
What accessories can I wear with my New Year's Eve wedding guest outfit?
Depending on your personal style, you can either go for a statement-making look with bold and embellished jewelry or you can opt for a simple yet festive look by pairing your ensemble with clean and modern metallic accessories.
Why Trust Brides
Contributing writer Laura Lajiness covers fashion, accessories, and fine jewelry. Her work can be seen across various outlets, including ELLE, InStyle, Glamour, Refinery 29, The Zoe Report, Popsugar, Well+Good, and Barneys New York, among other titles and brands.